Saturday, June 9, 2012

Washboard and Tiffany Falls!

I went on a hike yesterday that made me legitimately fear for my life.

Tiffany Falls is a pretty standard waterfall - there's a nice little trail with a few bridges to get you to the falls, and the walk in is really nice. I've been here a handful of times in all different seasons, so I've come to think of it as old hat, but surrounded by lush greenery, it was a lot prettier than I remembered it!

It's about halfway up Wilson St. heading toward Ancaster, on the left-hand side of the road - there is a little parking lot there. It's also pretty easy to bus to, there is a stop right for the 5C to Meadowlands right before a garden center (at 1039 Wilson) and you just have to walk up the street a bit.

For reference, here's the falls in the fall:

There is a waterfall though, behind Tiffany, that is much more treacherous to get to. I've been there before in high school, but it seems that some erosion has been happening and it's much harder to get to. There is a "path" that you can see next to the falls that is extremely steep and muddy. I was assessing its feasibility with my friend Naomi and a fellow hiker was trying to (rightfully) discourage us. He told us there is a way to Washboard Falls through some residential area up the mountain, but I'm not so sure - from what I've read online, the only way you can get to the falls from the top is through private property (which I am not recommending!). Along the path we found something else that looked like a way up past the falls. We were hesitant, but we thought there was only one way to find out whether we could climb up - and by the time we were reconsidering whether we should, there was no way down.

This photo documents the route that looked most like a path...notice how it goes straight up? 

I don't have any pictures to document how terrifying this scramble was - the rains from the day before made it pretty muddy, and there were times when it was quite steep. Of course it gets more steep the higher you go up, which makes you all the more committed to having to just finish it. All I can remember is how terrifyingly small some of my footholds were and having to let all my primal instincts take over to actually take the steps to keep going. Naomi wanted to get a picture of me during one of my panicked scrambles which almost cost me my life - my foot started slipping in a very real way moments after this photo was taken:

I'm smiling on the outside, but secretly filled with terror.

mostly safe, at the top.
 So...I'm not sure how to recommend seeing these falls because it might be kind of dangerous, but once we were at the top and the adrenaline rush wore off, it was so awesome seeing Tiffany Falls from the top!

Washboard Falls is also super gorgeous - and there is also the appeal of finding something "secret." We chilled for a while with some snacks and contemplated why the waterfall was such a unique shape. 

yeahhh waterfalls!

I reeeeally wanted to use it as a waterslide...

Luckily we didn't have to go down the way we came up, and we made it out all without trespassing! Although it was a bit of a walk, and we ended up in some suburban area. Still not sure what easy path from the top that guy was talking about. I'll let you assess the risks for yourselves...


  1. I'm loving the blog so far! I have a've been mentioning what it's like getting to each waterfall including whether it can be done by bike or transit (without a car). I think that's great. Would you consider possibly making a tag for that? You could call it "accessible by transit" or something like that. Someday when the blog is all full of posts, that would allow someone new to Hamilton or unfamiliar with some of the falls to just click and find out which ones they can get to easily if they live a carless lifestyle.

    Thanks for the great guide to Hamilton's treasures, and keep it up!

    1. Hey, thanks! I'm glad you like it! :) And that is a great idea, I will definitely add that tag on!